A complete guide to life insurance for marijuana users

Recreational and medical marijuana users can get life insurance, but frequent users may pay more for coverage.

Amanda Shih author photoMeredith Hoffman headshot

By

Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

&Meredith Hoffman

Meredith Hoffman

Senior Editor, Life Insurance

Meredith Hoffman is a senior editor at Policygenius, where she covers life insurance. Previously, she was a news and advice reporter for Bankrate, CreditCards.com, and To Her Credit, where she covered personal finance and gender-based financial discrimination.

Edited byAntonio Ruiz-Camacho

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Associate Content Director

Antonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

Updated|8 min read

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Using marijuana, either recreationally or medicinally, doesn’t disqualify you from being able to get a life insurance policy. However, due to the patchwork nature of marijuana laws around the country, your coverage options may differ depending on the state you are in, the type of marijuana products you use, and the life insurance company you purchase your policy from.

Can you qualify for life insurance if you use marijuana?

Yes, you can qualify for life insurance if you’re a marijuana user. Your coverage options will depend on how and how frequently you use marijuana, where you live, and other factors, including your age, gender, habits, and overall health.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a lack of research on the long-term health effects of marijuana use, combined with varying levels of legality around the country, makes insurance companies cautious — even in states where marijuana use is fully legal. 

Medical marijuana is considered medication by most insurers and shouldn’t impact your ability to get a life insurance policy. However, insurers will want to know about the health condition you use medical marijuana to treat, and that might affect your ability to get insurance. If you use marijuana for medical reasons, make sure it was prescribed by a doctor, as self-medicating won’t be viewed the same way — especially in states where marijuana is only legal for medicinal purposes. 

When it comes to marijuana-adjacent products such as those containing CBD and delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC), the way insurers view their use becomes even more nuanced. 

  • CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent THC have no effect on your ability to get life insurance. 

  • Delta-8 THC, while legal in most states, is still viewed as a THC product and is treated the same way as traditional marijuana in states where marijuana is legal.

→ Read more about how to get life insurance with a pre-existing condition

What counts as marijuana use to life insurance companies?

When it comes to marijuana usage, there are no hard and fast rules that will be true for every life insurance company. However, it’s safe to say that all companies will consider products with THC to be marijuana.

What types of life insurance are available if you use marijuana?

The most common types of life insurance policies — term and whole — are available to marijuana users but your eligibility and options will depend on your personal situation, health profile, and type of marijuana use. Term life insurance, however, usually offers better and more affordable options to most people, including marijuana users.

Term

Term life insurance is the most popular type of life insurance policy because it’s usually more affordable than other types of policies and is fairly straightforward. A term life insurance policy lasts for a predetermined amount of time, whether that be 10 years or 40 years, when you need coverage the most — for example, when you have a mortgage or when your children are growing up. If you’re just getting started and want an approachable policy, there are many term life insurance policy options for marijuana users. 

Whole

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent coverage that comes with a savings-like cash value component in addition to the traditional death benefit, making it a good option for high earners who have long-term financial obligations. If you are looking for a whole life policy as a marijuana user, you’ll have to take a medical exam as well as have your medical history reviewed. This doesn’t mean you will be ineligible for a policy, but approval will depend on the individual insurer’s guidelines.

How does marijuana use affect your life insurance rates?

The type of marijuana product you use, how frequently you use it, and whether you use it for recreational or medicinal purposes will determine your life insurance rates and eligibility.

How marijuana use affects health classifications

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll be assigned a health classification based on your health and lifestyle. The better your classification, the less you'll pay for coverage. 

Some insurers classify marijuana users the same as tobacco users, which means they’re only eligible for smoker rates that are two to three times higher than non-smoker rates. Other life insurance companies will offer non-smoker rates and even their best rates to marijuana users, depending on how often the person uses cannabis. If you vape marijuana, you’re more likely to be charged smoker rates.

"Recreational marijuana use is actually often looked at fairly favorably for a lot of carriers and most companies can offer non-tobacco rates,” says Patrick Hanzel, certified financial planner and advanced planning team lead at Policygenius. 

Medical marijuana use can also affect your health classification and rates — not because of the marijuana itself, but because of the reason you’re using it. “The underlying health conditions are the big differentiators,” Hanzel says.

How frequently you use marijuana will also affect your rates. Occasional marijuana users usually get better rates than daily users. 

→ Learn more about how to get life insurance with a pre-existing condition

Does CBD use affect life insurance rates?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical found in marijuana that doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces a high. [1] CBD products with a THC content of 0.3 percent or lower should have no impact on your ability to get a life insurance policy. One potential caveat, however, is how you use CBD. 

Most CBD users take tinctures, consume edibles, or apply topical balms to the skin. However, CBD hemp flower is also available to smoke, much like a joint with traditional marijuana. While CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects and can’t get you high, insurers may view this like smoking tobacco. Additionally, insurers will probably see the CBD vape pods as risky as smoking due to vaping’s potential impact on lung health. 

Does delta-8 THC use affect life insurance rates?

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. Because delta-8 THC is only found in small amounts in cannabis, larger concentrations are usually manufactured from CBD. [2]

Delta-8 THC affects life insurance in the same way as traditional marijuana. Because delta-8 THC is a form of THC and can get you high, insurers will likely first ask how you use it before determining how it would affect your policy. As with marijuana and CBD, smoking and vaping typically affect life insurance rates more than taking edibles or tinctures. 

The frequency with which you use delta-8 THC will also determine how much you’ll pay for life insurance. Occasional users will often receive better rates than daily users — but every insurer will have its own definition of “occasional use.” For some companies, it could be once or twice a month. For other companies, it could be more.

Ready to shop for life insurance for marijuana users?

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How much does life insurance cost for marijuana users?

Below you’ll find an estimate of how much life insurance costs if you’re an occasional marijuana user.

20-year term life insurance rates for occasional marijuana users  

Age

Sex

$250,000 coverage amount

$500,000 coverage amount

$1,000,000 coverage amount

25

Female

$17.75

$28.54

$47.09

Male

$20.20

$33.51

$57.30

35

Female

$20.28

$33.63

$57.01

Male

$23.31

$38.93

$71.10

45

Female

$36.79

$65.61

$118.64

Male

$45.95

$83.52

$154.99

55

Female

$75.67

$141.13

$268.19

Male

$104.35

$198.30

$371.65

Methodology: Average monthly estimated rates for occasional marijuana users are calculated for male and female non-smokers in a Standard Plus health classification, obtaining a 20-year, $250,000, $500,000, or $1 million term life insurance policy. Life insurance averages are based on a composite of policies offered by Policygenius from AIG, Banner Life, Brighthouse Financial, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha, Pacific Life, Protective, and Prudential, and may vary by insurer, term, coverage amount, health class, and state. Not all policies are available in all states. Rate illustration valid as of 12/01/2022.

If you’re a daily marijuana user, the best way to find the most accurate rate estimates is to talk with an independent insurance broker. At Policygenius, our experts are licensed in all 50 states and can walk you through the entire life insurance buying process while offering transparent, unbiased advice.

The best life insurance companies for marijuana users

Marijuana users can get affordable life insurance from several companies. As long as you don’t work in the marijuana industry, you can get almost immediate coverage at a competitive price with a Brighthouse SimplySelect or Lincoln TermAccel policy. Marijuana smokers typically get better pricing with these policies than they would from other insurers. 

Methodology: How we chose the best life insurance companies for marijuana users

We don't get paid for our company reviews and use an extensive rubric of criteria covering policy details, price, financial confidence, third-party ratings, and customer experience to assign unbiased ratings out of five stars. Any recommendations we make are based on internal and external expert opinions and data from our Policygenius Price Index, which uses real-time rate data from leading life insurance companies to determine pricing trends.

Our ratings and reviews can help point you to an insurer you can rely on for your family’s financial protection, but the best life insurance company for you is dependent on multiple factors. A licensed agent at Policygenius can work with you through the application process so you’re getting coverage from the best insurer for your circumstances at the most competitive price.

[→ Read more about our reviews methodology here]

Best overall life insurance for marijuana users

Lincoln Financial

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.7

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A+

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

Lincoln Financial offers a diverse array of life insurance policies, including competitive no-med and high-net-worth options.

Read our full Lincoln Financial review
Pros and cons

Pros

  • Affordable for older applicants

  • No-med option available

  • Very fast turnaround

Cons

  • Expensive permanent policies

  • Few online tools

Your individual circumstances will determine what life insurance policy you qualify for with Lincoln, but you can qualify for rates usually reserved for people with very good health even if you smoke up to twice a week.

Most affordable life insurance for marijuana users

Brighthouse Financial

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange star

5.0

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

No-med-exam option

Why we chose it

Brighthouse Financial offers competitive rates, comprehensive coverage, and application decisions in as little as 24 hours, making it our overall best choice for people who want to get life insurance coverage without having to take the medical exam.

Read our full Brighthouse Financial review
Pros and cons

Pros

  • Extremely affordable

  • Instant-decision applications

  • Best-in-class no-med option

Cons

  • Traditional term life not available in CA, IL, LA, ME, or NY

  • Term life applicants limited to ages 25-50

Brighthouse SimplySelect — a coverage option offered exclusively through Policygenius that was named the best no-medical-exam life insurance by [3] — doesn’t require a medical exam in order to get life insurance, as long as you only have low-level health concerns. Marijuana users can get coverage through Brighthouse Financial faster than with other insurers.

Best life insurance for daily marijuana users

Lincoln Financial

Why we chose it

Most insurers won’t offer daily marijuana users their most competitive rates, especially if they primarily smoke. That’s why Lincoln’s progressive approach to marijuana use makes it a great fit for daily users. Though daily marijuana users probably won’t qualify for Lincoln’s rates usually assigned to people with excellent or very good health, they’ll still have access to good average coverage options. 

Best life insurance for occasional marijuana users

AIG

Policygenius rating 

Our proprietary rating methodology takes multiple factors into account, including customer satisfaction, cost, financial strength, and policy offerings. See the "methodology" section for more details.

Full orange starFull orange starFull orange starFull orange starHalf orange star

4.6

AM Best rating 

A.M. Best is a global credit rating agency that scores the financial strength of insurance companies on a scale from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor).

A

Cost 

Using a mix of internal and external rate data, we grade the cost of each insurance company's premiums on a scale from least expensive ($) to most expensive ($$$$$).

$

$

$

$

$

30+ year terms

All 50 states

Why we chose it

With competitive pricing and a range of flexible term periods for its Select-a-Term product, AIG is a solid option for many life insurance shoppers, including families.

Read our full AIG review
Pros and cons

Pros

  • Competitive pricing for all ages

  • Customizable term policies

  • Benefits common health conditions

Cons

  • Below average customer ratings

  • Cumbersome quote tool

AIG is one of few insurers that treat infrequent marijuana users as non-smokers, but what sets them apart is their affordable rates, especially for young people. However, make sure to be truthful during the application process — even if you only use marijuana occasionally. If you test positive for THC after saying you don’t use marijuana your application will be declined.

Best life insurance for people who use medical marijuana

AIG 

Why we chose it

Many life insurance companies view medical marijuana differently than recreational marijuana. Your rates will usually depend on the health condition the marijuana was prescribed to treat. With that in mind, AIG offers some of the most competitive rates for people with more common health conditions.

Ready to shop for life insurance for marijuana users?

Start calculator

What do life insurance companies consider when you apply?

Do life insurance companies test for marijuana?

Yes, the life insurance medical exam includes blood and urine tests, which show THC levels. THC shows up in a blood test up to 36 hours after marijuana use and in a urine test after between three and 30 days, depending on the frequency of use.  

If you apply for no-medical-exam life insurance, you’ll still be asked questions about marijuana use and share past medical records.

If you use CBD it wouldn’t show up on blood tests as these specifically look for THC. Insurance companies don’t treat CBD use like drug use, so you can be eligible for the best rates with most insurers as long as you’re in good health.

What happens if you stop using marijuana?

In most cases, if you stop using marijuana after your life insurance policy has become active you can be eligible for reconsideration. Reconsideration is an option that allows you to ask your insurer to review your rates if your health improves or you quit smoking. 

The time frame varies but you can usually ask for reconsideration one year from the start of your policy or from when you stop using marijuana. Keep in mind that rules around marijuana are more variable than around tobacco, so you’ll need to check with your insurer to see their specific guidelines. 

Can your life insurance policy be canceled if you lie about your marijuana habits?

Always be honest with the life insurance company about your marijuana use, even if you may not test positive for THC when you’re applying for a policy. There’s no reason to lie since you can still get an affordable policy if you smoke marijuana. 

Also, lying or misrepresenting yourself during the application process can be considered insurance fraud and have consequences for you. You could get higher rates or be denied coverage altogether as a result.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if marijuana is found on your life insurance drug test?

You can’t fail a drug test for life insurance but depending on the drug found, you’ll either pay more for coverage or be denied coverage.

How much more do marijuana users pay for life insurance?

Your rates depend on how often you use marijuana, whether you vape, and other factors like your overall health and age.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. Mayo Clinic

    . "

    What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?

    ." Accessed July 20, 2022.

  2. U.S. Food & Drug Administration

    . "

    5 Things to Know about Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol - Delta-8 THC

    ." Accessed July 20, 2022.

  3. Forbes Advisor

    . "

    Best No-Exam Life Insurance Of July 2022

    ." Accessed July 26, 2022.

Authors

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

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Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Senior Editor, Life Insurance

Meredith Hoffman

Senior Editor, Life Insurance

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Meredith Hoffman is a senior editor at Policygenius, where she covers life insurance. Previously, she was a news and advice reporter for Bankrate, CreditCards.com, and To Her Credit, where she covered personal finance and gender-based financial discrimination.

Editor

Associate Content Director

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

Associate Content Director

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Antonio helps lead our life insurance and disability insurance editorial team at Policygenius. Previously, he was a senior director of content at Bankrate and CreditCards.com, as well as a principal writer covering personal finance at CNET.

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